Avoiding the Hard Part

I sat at my computer this morning and started fretting almost immediately.

It was still early. The sun wasn’t even up over the houses across the street. But I knew I needed to work on my podcast. It’s my Big Project. I need to ship something.

So what did I do today? (Project work is in italics.)

  • Start revising the concept and goals for the podcast.
  • Check email.
  • Make a cup of coffee.
  • Check Slack
  • Get a stewing hen doing its thing in the slow cooker.
  • Brainstorm show names.
  • Look at logo sites.
  • Email by buddy about making the show logo.
  • Worry about this weekend’s bake
  • check email
  • Send a reminder email about this weekend’s bake
  • Write a letter to a friend.
  • Check Slack
  • Eat lunch.
  • Go for a walk and mail the letter.
  • Surf YouTube
  • Start a fire
  • Check email again
  • Once more through Slack
  • Start thinking about supper
  • Write this post

Not exactly focused on my Big Project, am I? What’s happening here?

I’m running away from the tension. Avoiding the hard part. In general terms, I’m hiding.

The crazy thing is that I can’t sit still long enough to figure out what the hard part actually is!

But I’m definitely avoiding something.

Introducing the Daily Micro Habit

Avoiding the hard part is expected behaviour. It’s an automatic response from the ancient lizard brain. So the key is to notice the avoidance, then trick the lizard and get back to work.

That’s where the Daily Micro Habit comes in. What’s the new habit that you’ll repeat 100 times a day if needed to notice when you’re hiding?

When I first wrote my podcast goal down, I wrote this as the habit:

I’ll make progress by keeping daily office hours, which I’ll track. Typically they will be in the mornings, Monday – Thursday.

Each evening, I’ll take a quick reflection on the day to make sure I’ve kept my promise for office hours and will set a mini-goal for the next day.

So far, so bad. I’m not blocking time and I’m not reflecting either. I may need extra medicine.

But I see the problem. That’s a start.